Financial aid is available to students who are interested in attending summer school. The following types of aid may be available: Federal Direct Loan(s), Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Pell Grant and the CU Achieve Grant for example. Work-study is also available, even to students who are not enrolled in summer sessions.

Understand Your Summer Financial Aid Eligibility for 2023

The best way to understand your eligibility to receive summer financial aid is to complete the Summer Aid Application, which will be available in Buff Portal in late February. You will also need to complete the following:

  • You must have completed the 2022-23 FAFSA . If you received financial aid at CU Boulder during the Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 semesters, then it should already be on file.
  • Complete the 2023-24 FAFSA .This is required to receive work-study this summer.

If you are interested in summer work-study, you need to have both FAFSAs on file and complete the Summer Aid Application as soon as possible. Funds are limited and provided first-completed, first-served.

Once you have a FAFSA on file and are enrolled in summer classes, you will automatically be offered summer aid (except for work-study). You will receive a financial aid offer by email.

Summer School Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Much like during the academic year, the amount of aid you can receive is determined by the number of credits you enroll in and your aid eligibility. Work-study, the Federal Pell grant and the CU Achieve grant are available in summer to eligible students. If not eligible for these programs, summer aid is typically limited to each student’s remaining eligibility from the previous academic year for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS loans may also be an option.

Financial aid is applied to your bill approximately one week before classes begin (or one week before your education abroad (study abroad) program begins, if enrolled) as long as all necessary steps are completed - such as the Master Promissory Note (MPN) for loans. Refunds will be issued from the Bursar’s Office if any funds remain after the bill has been paid. View the refund schedule.

You must enroll at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduates, 3 credits for graduates) to receive loans for summer courses. If you add or drop a class, it may result in adjustments to or cancellation of your aid. If you become ineligible for aid, you may have to give back funds you’ve already received. Courses that do not earn credit toward a degree do not count toward enrollment.

The summer financial aid application is intended to provide an estimate of your financial aid to help you plan for summer enrollment. It’s typically available between February and the beginning of Maymester in Buff Portal. However, you can still receive financial aid for summer even after the application closes. If you have a FAFSA on file and are enrolled in summer classes, you will automatically be offered financial aid and recieve a financial aid email.

If you need loans for summer classes, apply and complete any requested information before mid-July. Loans can only be provided during the time you attend class. After your summer class has ended, you cannot get federal student or parent loans.

Summer work-study is popular, but funds are limited, so you should notify us that you want to earn work-study as soon as possible after the Summer Aid Application opens in late February or by contacting Student Employment. If you earned work-study during the 2022-23 academic year, you will be given first priority, but work-study is never guaranteed. To learn more, visit our work-study web page.

You do not have to be enrolled in summer to receive work-study if you attend classes in spring and you will be back in the fall. If you do not plan to take classes this summer, you must be currently enrolled in Spring 2023 and be registered for Fall 2023 by May 15, 2023.

Students who earn summer work-study may be required to save a portion of their earnings to pay for next year’s expenses. This amount is called “Expected Summer Savings” and is required if your summer work-study is greater than your summer cost of attendance. The “Expected Summer Savings” will appear as a resource on your 2022-23 financial aid offer. Summer Savings will apply whether or not you take summer classes. Student Employment counselors can answer any questions about how this might impact your 2023-24 financial aid.

If you are a current student, you can access job postings in CU Boulder Student Jobs. Learn how to Find A Job!

CU Boulder degree-seeking students participating in an education abroad (study abroad) program should complete the summer financial aid application and be enrolled in a CU Boulder education abroad (study abroad) program to be eligible for financial aid. Exception: Students in the College of Architecture and Planning who are enrolled in the UCD education abroad (study abroad) programs may be eligible for financial aid from CU Boulder after completing the application process. Learn more about education abroad (study abroad).

Federal law requires students receiving financial aid to make satisfactory academic progress. If you do not meet the minimum requirements during spring semester, you may lose aid eligibility for summer even if aid has already been offered. You may file an appeal with the Office of Financial Aid and, if approved, may regain financial aid eligibility.

Main campus students can enroll in Continuing Education (CE) courses (including flexible courses) just like any other semester- but you should keep a couple things in mind as you make summer plans:
  • For resident students: CE courses are not eligible for College Opportunity Fund (COF).
  • If you are thinking about taking a flexible course, you must finish it within the summer semester to stay in good standing for financial aid.

For details, visit Flexible Courses.